FRC Blog

Coming to a Library Near You…

by Family Research Council

February 20, 2007

Hey kids, want to see a R-rated movie? Whats that? Your parents wont take you to see and the video clerk wont rent it to you because youre under age? No problem. Just get the movie from your local librarian.

Libraries in Johnson County will let anyone, regardless of age, check out an R-rated movie. This news surprised Sally O’Rear. She found out the hard way. She saw her 13-year-old daughter with the movie.

ORear said, I want people to know you can go out there to the library and check these out. I want to be that voice to say, ‘Hey parents wake up. Look this is what’s going on.’”

For O’Rear, it is not so much that the movies are available. She wants the staff to help monitor what kids are doing inside the library. She said, I feel the parents should keep an eye also, but I feel the library needs to put up notification.”

North Liberty librarys assistant director Jennie Garner said, We can’t be baby sitters. We can’t monitor everyone’s age.” Library staff will tell you blocking kids from any material at the library is unconstitutional.

Garner said, Anyone, including minors, has the right to access any materials under the First amendment.”

The American Library Association’s website offers a “sample answer” that librarians can give when parents ask about such policies:

Kids can’t rent R-rated movies at the video store, or buy Playboy at the newsstand. Why won’t you use the same common sense restrictions at my public library?

* Those types of rating systems are voluntary, and libraries make them available to assist parents and others in making decisions for their families and themselves. As librarians, we strongly encourage parents to take an active role in monitoring what their children see and view, but as public employees, it’s not appropriate for librarians to make those decisions for them.

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Meet Generation Next

by Family Research Council

February 19, 2007

The Pew Research Center released a survey report that examines how young people ages 18 to 25 view their lives, futures, and politics. The results are alternately fascinating and disheartening:

About half of Gen Nexters say the growing number of immigrants to the U.S. strengthens the country more than any generation. And they also lead the way in their support for gay marriage and acceptance of interracial dating.

Beyond these social issues, their views defy easy categorization. For example, Generation Next is less critical of government regulation of business but also less critical of business itself. And they are the most likely of any generation to support privatization of the Social Security system.

They maintain close contact with parents and family. Roughly eight-in-ten say they talked to their parents in the past day. Nearly three-in-four see their parents at least once a week, and half say they see their parents daily. One reason: money. About three-quarters of Gen Nexters say their parents have helped them financially in the past year.

One-in-five members of Generation Next say they have no religious affiliation or are atheist or agnostic, nearly double the proportion of young people who said that in the late 1980s. And just 4% of Gen Nexters say people in their generation view becoming more spiritual as their most important goal in life.

They are somewhat more interested in keeping up with politics and national affairs than were young people a generation ago. Still, only a third say they follow whats going on in government and public affairs most of the time.

In Pew surveys in 2006, nearly half of young people (48%) identified more with the

Democratic Party, while just 35% affiliated more with the GOP. This makes Generation

Next the least Republican generation.

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FRC at National Religious Broadcasters

by Family Research Council

February 18, 2007

FRC_booth_team.jpg

The National Religious Broadcasters have hit Orlando and FRC is here talking about our radio program, Washington Watch Weekly. (You can listen here!) If you are anywhere in the area, be sure to come by and see us at Booth 324. . .

… this is the booth going up with our NRB team: Dave Salkeld, Bethanie Swendsen, Alexandria Crowley, Craig Ballard and my daughter.

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Pro-Life Members Work to Make “Amends” on GINA

by Tony Perkins

February 16, 2007

Despite support by pro-life Republicans and Reps. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Jason Altmire (D-PA) an amendment to expand the definition of “family member” to include the unborn and adoptive children in the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act failed in the House Education and Labor Committee. Chairman George Miller (D-CA) did offer a provision that would include “fetuses” in the bill. However, this does not address children in the process of being adopted and unborn children younger than nine weeks’ gestation. Also, it does not remedy the dilemma for IVF embryos. FRC will continue to urge House members to close this devastating loophole.

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UNICEF’s Incomplete Mirror on Families Reflects Poorly on U.S.

by Tony Perkins

February 16, 2007

A new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) paints an unflattering picture of the United States and the United Kingdom. In “An Overview of Child Well-Being in Rich Countries,” UNICEF claims that the two nations rank dead last in providing for young people’s welfare. Citing the lack of government-sponsored day care and “economic inequality,” a spokesman for UNICEF said, “They don’t invest as much in children as continental European countries do.” The U.S. should take some exception to this comment as money is not the only accurate measure of a child’s well-being. Unlike most Europeans, Americans don’t rely on a socialist system to provide for their families’ needs. In this study, only government funds were measured. The money provided from other sources was ignored. Assessing factors such as health, safety, family relationships, risk behaviors, and education, the study did cite the overwhelming number of single parents in the U.S. as cause for concern. Coupled with the alarming rates of teen promiscuity and substance abuse, the breakdown of the family must be addressed. Having said that, the government is not most Americans’ first choice when it comes to creating wealth, raising children, or making decisions about their health. As we’ve seen from the recent HPV vaccine mandates, Americans are not ready to let the government decide every issue for our children. If that’s the benchmark for high grades from UNICEF, then the U.S. is far better off than this study suggests.

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One huge culture of rejection

by Jared Bridges

February 14, 2007

The Heritage Foundation’s Patrick Fagan pens a Valentine’s Day piece that tackles the “scripting” of America’s youth:

But fewer and fewer of our young men are capable of this long haul. Consider how teenage boys are being scripted. How many pick up the message that it is best to have as many women as possible, versus those who pick up the message to find their one and only true love? How many get the predator/hunter message instead of the message to become the protector of their love?

It is easy for men to take to the predator message; it may even seem to be hardwired. By contrast it takes a massive cultural effort to make the protector lesson take hold among men. Most cultures (not ours anymore, alas) have put enormous energy into the protector message because the children of each generation need their fathers at home with them. Almost a quarter of our children are aborted today, 80 percent outside of marriage, while 60 percent of those who do manage to make it alive through the birth canal eventually end up with their parents rejecting each other. We, the United States, have become one huge culture of rejection.

Fagan’s article suggests a better Valentine’s Day gift that combats this culture of rejection, and it might not be what you think

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States shift money from abortion providers

by Jared Bridges

February 14, 2007

The Los Angeles Times noted this week, somewhat disparagingly, that government funding for crisis pregnancy centers is on the rise in many states:

At least eight states including Florida, Missouri and Pennsylvania use public funds to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers, Christian homes for unwed mothers and other programs explicitly designed to steer women away from abortion. As a condition of the grants, counselors are often barred from referring women to any clinic that provides abortions; in some cases, they may not discuss contraception either.

Most states still spend far more money subsidizing comprehensive family planning, but the flow of tax dollars to antiabortion groups has surged in recent months, as programs have taken effect in Texas and Minnesota.

Which group doesn’t like this trend of using state funds to encourage women not to have abortions? It’s none other than the number one foe of unplanned childhood everywhere — Planned Parenthood. The nation’s leading abortion provider is apparently sour on its newfound competition:

In 2005, Texas lawmakers redirected $25 million that was to have gone to Planned Parenthood over two years. Most went instead to primary-care health clinics (which provide contraception but not abortion). But $5 million of the money was set aside for antiabortion centers that do not provide medical care and will not refer clients to clinics that prescribe birth control.

To deal with its 62% budget cut, the Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Austin began charging for services long offered free to low-income women. Since the fees took effect, the clinic has distributed 40% fewer birth control pills and has conducted 50% fewer Pap smears to screen for cervical cancer. Several thousand patients have stopped coming.

While the article makes Planned Parenthood seem as if it were ready to cut off the heat and make its staff work for free, it does point out that the national organization did receive over $280 million in public funds last year — hardly a pittance. The article quotes Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, as saying, “It’s reprehensible that taxpayer dollars are going to organizations that regularly and deliberately deceive women.”

Now, that’s a statement we can all agree with.

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